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Turning the Tassel

This last semester has been quite the whirlwind, and I can’t believe I am going to be a college graduate in just a few days.

All of the projects, exams, and presentation of the last four and a half years have led to one special day – Graduation Day. After attending Spring Commencement, I decided to apply to be the speaker at my own, desiring to stand out in my graduating class and give my classmates a speech they would enjoy and remember. On Saturday, I’ll find out if I have achieved my goal.

During my college years, I’ve developed a passion for everything NC State. As a member of the Power Sound of the South each fall and the Varsity Band every spring, I been able to attend five years worth of Wolfpack home football games, as well as most home basketball games. Sporting events play a large role in college – they are not the main reason to come to college, but they help foster school spirit. (I also think everyone looks much better in red than any shade of blue.)

But my passion for NC State is not restricted only to “student life,” but to academics as well. I know I will have earned a very well rounded degree when I leave NC State. The great thing about NC State is how our nine different colleges work together to offer students something from every curriculum.

NC State is full of experts in countless fields willing to share their knowledge and expertise with students. I’ve been able to take classes that fall outside of my discipline, which has given me a new perspective on work in my field. My degree in Textile and Apparel Management has prepared me for so much more than a job; it has prepared me for the real world.

My advisor, Teresa Langley, has been nothing short of amazing. She is willing to do everything she can for her advisees and anyone else she comes into contact with. NC State is full of people like her.

My favorite professor in the College of Textiles would have to be Dr. Michelle Jones. Dr. Jones has the ability to make the most mundane material jump out of the textbook and into real life. There was never a dull moment during her lectures.

However, my education reached beyond that classroom and into my involvement in our athletic bands. Dr. Paul Garcia is a wonderful teacher with true passion for music – even as it meant 300 students casting a wary eye his way as we rehearsed in the rain.

After graduation, I will continue to follow my dreams in Orlando, Florida, where I have accepted an internship in the Costuming Department at Walt Disney World Resort. This will be my second internship in Disney World; I participated in the Disney College Program the spring semester of my junior year. The program offers students what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

As you leave to go home for the holidays, think about what you want to do after your time at NC State. Whether this is your first semester, your final semester or somewhere in between, you have the potential to make your mark on the world. Realize it, and take advantage of the opportunities you have.

And, if you are considering a future at NC State, I leave you with this – if you come to NC State, you will be more than just part a student body, you will become a part of the Wolfpack family.

Editor’s Note: NC State senior Emma Norton was selected to address her fellow NC State graduates during Saturday’s ceremony at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC. The processional will begin at 9 a.m.